Planning public health initiatives

Talley, Janine (2009). Planning public health initiatives. In: Wilson, F., Frances and Mabhala, Mzwandile eds. Key concepts in public health. SAGE Key Concepts. London: Sage, pp. 118–124.



Whilst there is no generally accepted definition of planning (Lenihan, 2005), planning is commonly used to describe decision-making processes including elements such as setting goals, developing strategies, and outlining the tasks and schedules involved in accomplishing the goals. In the context of public health the goals are related to making things happen that will support the health and wellbeing of populations. Planning elements and processes may be explicit or may be implicit and be associated with terms such as policy, programme, strategy, operational, priority, aim, objective, long-term, action, work, business (Naidoo and Wills, 2000; Halth Communication Unit, 2007). Planning has value both as a process and as a route to outcomes including strategic and operational guidance on how to reach public health improvement objectives. Planning may be proactive, responsive or reactive (Nutbeam, 1996), formal or informal and form part of any size of initiative.

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